Residual symptoms and the quality of life in individuals recovered from COVID-19 infection: A survey from Pakistan

Mohammad Aadil Qamar, Russell Seth Martins, Rubaid Azhar Dhillon, Areeba Tharwani, Omar Irfan, Qosain Fatima Suriya, Wajiha Rizwan, Javaid Ahmed Khan, Ali bin Sarwar Zubairi

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There remains scarcity of literature regarding the patient's health status post-COVID-19 infection. This study analyzes the prevalence of residual symptoms and quality of life (QoL) after COVID-19. Methods: An anonymous online survey was administrated in Pakistan from November 2020 to April 2021 in COVID-19 survivors. The questionnaire used the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) to assess mental and physical QoL. Multivariate linear regression was used to explore factors associated with mental and physical QoL scores. Results: A total of 331 COVID-19 survivors participated in our survey. Around 42.0% of the cohort reported within 1–3 months of diagnosis of COVID-19. The common residual symptoms were body aches (39.9%), low mood (32.6%), and cough (30.2%). Better physical QoL was associated with being male (adjusted beta: 3.328) and having no residual symptoms (6.955). However, suffering from nausea/vomiting during initial COVID-19 infection (−4.026), being admitted to the ICU during COVID-19 infection (−9.164), and suffering from residual body aches (−5.209) and low mood (−2.959) was associated with poorer QoL. Better mental QoL was associated with being asymptomatic during initial COVID-19 infection (6.149) and post-COVID (6.685), while experiencing low mood post-COVID was associated with poorer mental QoL (−8.253 [-10.914, −5.592]). Conclusion: Despite presumed “recovery” from COVID-19, patients still face a wide range of residual symptoms months after initial infection, which contributes towards poorer QoL. Healthcare professionals must remain alert to the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 infection and aim to address them appropriately to improve patients’ QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103361
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Quality of life
  • Residual symptoms


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